8 February 2018

In the bleak midwinter..............

I can't believe how much snow has fallen this winter..............

Hakodate seems pretty birdeless after the waxwings departed. The ports were pretty empty yesterday but nearby one of them was a small flock of Asian Rosy Finch. Not great pictures: they were pretty far away and the images are still heavily cropped.

Not many winter finches/buntings so far this year (Brambling in town, a few Siskin here and there but not much else)..............

There is a guesthouse in east Hokkaido where the owner feeds a flock of Asian Rosy Finches. Apparently he is tired of visiting birders trying to get a peek at 'his' Rosy Finches. He will call the police if you try to sneak a look. Seriously. And if you do want to pay and stay at his guesthouse be warned that he doesn't appear to like 'foreigners' very much.

Not much in town: 4 species of duck on the river including Tufted Duck, a lone Coot, Winter Wren, Daurian Redstart as well as a few Dusky Thrush and Brown-eared Bulbul surveying the berry armageddon brought unto Hakodate by the waxwings...........


  1. It's a real shame that birding has come to this. As for the owner of the guest house not liking "foreigners" are there no anti-discrimination laws there? I guess that if ever I make it to Hokkaido that's one place I will not be staying at.

    1. Japan lags behind the west a bit in terms of attitudes to racial discrimination (plus until recently there weren't many foreigners either living or visiting here). There is little overt racism to white people from first world countries but you hear a few comments here and there.

      In this particular case the inn owner feeds the Rosy Finches but objects to birders 'peeping' (his words) at them. I guess it's an invasion of privacy issue: in that link he said he wife was ill from stress because of the prying eyes. I have no sympathy because they are not his private birds and if he doesn't want people hanging around near his place he shouldn't feed the finches. Simple as that.

      In the link he also takes a swipe at the increase in the number of foreigners visiting east Hokkaido: the clear implication is that foreigners don't have manners and behave poorly. A bit like that idiot the other week who objected to me walking around (in a public park!) and disturbing 'his' waxwings and then he came on my blog and said I had bad 'manners'.

      I don't know the full story and maybe he had some serious invasions of privacy that led to this current situation. Still, threatening to call the police is a bit much. Maybe they'd do nothing and just shrug their shoulders. Who knows?

      Anyway he seems like a slightly silly and petty man. I won't ever be staying there either.

    2. Thanks for taking the time to answer so completely, Stuart.

    3. I'm a member of a facebook group for birders in Japan: he was at it again yesterday, the police were called (who showed admirable restraint).

  2. The third pic. - as I said on FB, I think, would make a great Christmas Card !


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